WASHINGTON (CN) – Teens are choosing prescription and over-the-counter drugs for recreation, while turning their backs on harder drugs like cocaine, says a government study released Monday. Alcohol, however, remains the preferred path to an altered state.
Seventy percent of drugs most abused in high schools are now prescription and over-the-counter drugs, the Office of National Drug Control Policy announced.
Hallucinogens and cocaine fell in popularity among high school seniors this past year. The number of eighth graders who have used methamphetamine also dropped.
The popularity of marijuana has stayed level for three years, after a period of decline. But the report shows a growing acceptance of marijuana among eighth and tenth graders, with fewer responding that there is a “great risk” associated with its use.
While its use has dropped among teens, there is a growing acceptance of alcohol, with a shrinking number sophomores who see weekend binge drinking as harmful, and fewer high-school seniors who disapprove of having one or two drinks daily.
While increases in marijuana and alcohol use were not observed in the report, it says that the “softening of teens” to these drugs, as seen, forecasts increases in their use.